|© AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi
Lewis Hamilton has come forward stating that he's no longer under the control of others after he severed professional ties with his father Anthony, who was his manager, and McLaren boss Ron Dennis, who paved the British driver’s path to Formula 1.
Now driving for Mercedes, having ended his relationship with McLaren which stretched back from the time he was 14, the 28-year-old is no longer under the gaze of his father and his former team’s chief, highlighting the freedom he has gained with the German manufacturer.
“Very, very similar characters, my dad and Ron,” Hamilton was quoted saying by the Mirror. “My dad is the head of the whole family. Everyone goes to my dad. He’s like the Godfather.
“At McLaren, Ron is the Godfather. Naturally there does come that power. I don’t know if it’s about fear but there were definitely parallels.
“No one controls me now. I’m able to be my own man,” he added suggesting that the two figures do not influence his life anymore.
Hamilton has repeatedly indicated that he was clearly stifled by the corporate machine that he was so often asked to pedal at McLaren, which affected not only his personal life but also his racing.
“No one controls me now. I’m able to be my own man,” asserted the Mercedes driver. "I make decisions I want to make now. I’m my own man and that’s what I always wanted.
“I’m happier now. I can do things and I don’t have to report to anyone.”
The 2011 season was perhaps Hamilton’s worst, at least emotionally, when he got involved in several on-track incidents and was slammed for some controversial remarks as well.
“It was lack of energy, lack of motivation. It’s almost like depression but it’s not depression,” he recalled his life during the McLaren stint. “It saps your energy and it saps your will to do want to do things. You are not able to focus on the job at hand.
“There was a point where I was driving and I was crashing for no reason. I was just not on the ball,” he confessed.
“It has taken me all these years to get to the point where what people say doesn’t bother me,” he added.
Hamilton pointed his finger at the environment he was racing in, saying that he would have been protected if he had continued with McLaren, but instead preferred to start afresh.
“There’s no time for mistakes. It’s all on me," he said.